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Das Grahi Das Tyagi

Author: Tirath Singh Nirmala

In the Khālsā Mahātam section in Srī Sarabloh Granth Jī Sodhī Sultān, Shamsher
Pitā, Panth de Vālī, Sachidānand Svarup Srī Guru Kalgīdhar Svāmī Jī presents the
definition of the ideal Khālsā. He does not envision the remit for the Khālsā to
begin and end with dharam yudh and the ethical principles of kshatriya dharam.
Consequently the ten virtues to be ‘grasped’ and the ten impurities to be
‘renounced’ are as concerned with the pursuit of Brahamgyān as they are with the
necessary psyche of a kshatriya warrior. Ultimately the definition (lakshan) of the
Khālsā is given as:

Asu Kwlsih Kwls pd pRwpiq inrMkwir su sÍrUp mhwnM ]

He who is utterly pure has obtained the state of Khālsā becoming supreme as the very
form of Nirankār

The supreme Khālsā-pad is synonymous with Param-pad, Nirvān-pad indicating

Brahamgyān, Brahamnishtha, meaning ‘one who is established in knowledge of the
Self’. That which is of supreme purity is by definition free from ignorance
(agyān), delusion (moh), defect (dosh), falseness (bhram), blemish (mal),
misconception (bhrānti), free from the impurity of māyā-prākritī, the influence of
the three guna-s, and is thus Pure Consciousness (satchidānand). Srī Guru Nānak
Dev Jī states:

gurmuiK inrml hir gux gwvY ] gurmuiK pivqR prm pdu pwvY ]

The Gurmukh worships the pure qualities of Hari

(Ultimately) the Gurmukh obtains the pure supreme state

Srī Guru Kalgīdhar Svāmī Jī includes supreme purity among the attributes of

prm rUp punIq mUriq pUrn purKu Apwr ]

The supreme form is of purity, singular and all pervading

The Pure Consciousness that is Braham abides concealed within one’s heart:

AMqr AwqmY bRhmu n cIinAw mwieAw kw muhqwju BieAw ]

They fail to recognise Braham within as the Atma having become enslaved by Māyā
The supreme path to obtaining this knowledge in the dark era of Kaliyug has
been revealed to the world by Pārbraham through the Guru Avatār. The first
step on the path requires the seeker to possess fitness (adhikāri) for the teachings
of the Guru (Gurupdesh). The one who aspires for self knowledge (mumukshu)
must first develop firm inner purity (shudh budhī). Impurity arises from the
dominance of rajoguna and tamoguna in the mind, the result of which is
distractedness and ignorance respectively. The modifications of the mind
(antahkaranvriti) caused by the influence of māyā prākritī produce negative
tendencies such as illusion (viparya), sleep (nidra), fantasy (vikalapa), recollection
(smritī). These are the inner obstacles to meditating upon Pārbraham. In contrast
the mind receptive to the Guru’s teachings should remain fixed and contented
even when afflicted by the threefold forms of suffering (dukh). Further it should
be free from longing for happiness (sukh), free of attachment, free from anger and

The inherent blemishes within the mind (budhī) - the sin (pāp) and distractedness
(vikshepya) - are first to be removed by replacing them with satogunic qualities
termed daivī guna (literally ‘divine qualities’). The actions which extinguish the
influence of vice and distractedness, such as meditating upon the Nām (jap),
austerity (tap), acting selflessly in a spirit of humility (sevā), worship of the Lord
(pujā), are collectively referred to as naishkām karam. The word grāhī means ‘that
which should be grasped’. Its Sanskrit root grāh means ‘to seize’. Therefore
performing naishkām karam produces the qualities described in the das grāhī:

gurpRswdI muKu aUjlw jip nwmu dwnu iesnwnu ]

kwmu kRoDu loBu ibnisAw qijAw sBu AiBmwnu ]

With the Guru’s teaching one’s face becomes radiant,

meditating upon Nām, performing charity and possessing purity
Lust, anger and greed have been destroyed and the egotistical nature has been abandoned

haumY iqRsnw sB Agin buJweI ] ibnsy kRoD iKmw gih leI ]

Recognise the egotistical nature, desires and all such to be alike fire
Extinguishing anger brings forbearance within

In this section the Srī Sarabloh Granth Jī acknowledges continuity with the
Bhagvad Gītā and Upanishads on the grāhī-s and tyāgī-s. In the Bhagvad Gītā,
having described the nature of the ‘field’ (kshetra) – the mind, body, and its
organs - Krishan Bhagvān proceeds to describe to Arjun the virtues necessary to
become the ‘knower of the field’ (kshetra-gya). These include humility
(amānitvam), the absence of false pride (adambhitvam), the absence of
indiscriminate violence (ahimsā), forbearance (kshantiha), devotion to the Satiguru
(āchārya-upāsanam), inner and outer purity (shaucham), control and steadiness in
the mind (sthairyam). In contrast, of the avguna-s to be renounced the
predominance of rajoguna produces restlessness (ashamah), greed (lobh),
aggressiveness, etc. The predominance of tamoguna produces indifference
(pramād), laziness (ālasya), and sleep (nidra).

One who is fit to achieve the Khālsā pad is one in whom these qualities are
firmly established. If the necessary virtues are not firmly established within, the
pupil lacks the necessary qualification (adhikar) to gain from the Guru’s teaching.
The importance of this is illustrated in the story of Muni Shukdev. He is
remembered as the great renunciate who spent many years in the jungle
meditating intensely and performing difficult austerities. His father, Ved Vyās,
sensed that he was now fit for the knowledge of the Self and sent him to Rājā
Janak of Mithalāpur. Despite being a family man and a highly effective ruler,
Rājā Janak abided in knowledge of the Self. The king set a number of tests to see
whether the ascetic Shukdev truly possessed the necessary qualities. Each of his
tests exposed one avguna. On one occasion Muni Ji returned to the palace and
requested to speak with the Rājā. He was told to wait in an adjoining room. Muni
Ji had the classical appearance of a renunciate (tyāgī), clothed in only a loin cloth
(kapīn), his body covered in ash, long flowing matted locks of hair (jathājuth), and
carrying with him only a cloth and his water pot (chipī). When Muni Jī entered a
private room to speak with the Rājā he was told to leave his chipī. Rājā Janak now
instigated his next test. While sat with Shukdev the king set the palace ablaze
through his yogic power. Upon his request, Rājā Janak began to explain to Muni
Jī the knowledge of the Self, but while doing so court attendants repeatedly
interrupted him to update the king on the increasing devastation caused by the
fire. Rājā Janak was unconcerned and continued to teach. Shukdev however
could not concentrate on words of wisdom for his thoughts were turned to
rescuing his chipī and saving his own life. Eventually the attendant informed the
king that the fire had now spread to the very part of the palace in which they
were seated, upon hearing which Shukdev jumped up and ran to fetch his chipī.
When he returned Rājā Janak severely chastised him. The one who exhibited to
the world his detachment thought only of his material possession and physical
body, whereas the Rājā had continued teaching, unperturbed, despite being
informed of extensive loss. With this Shukdev was sent away for he was still not
fit for the Guru’s teaching.

Tirath Singh Nirmala Copyright © 2010